The WAC’s luck needed in such games should have been used in the first quarter itself. It started bitterly. A free-kick you don’t have to give for Molde, followed by a shot from the second line which was deflected by Simon Peisinger. Hendrik Bornmann has no chance on goal. Striker Datro Fofana blocked the sight in an offside position. But what was decisive for the defeat after 90 minutes was the different performances of the two teams. “You have to accept without envy that we lost to an obviously better team. They had the reins in their hands from the start,” says coach Robin Dutt, who was forced to revert to a back four for the “Game of the Year” with only three fit central defenders left in the squad.
After an early deficit you can keep the game open. The visitors were far from creating chances in the first quarter. But nothing necessarily came of the WAC. It was dangerous for the first time in the opponent’s penalty area after a quarter of an hour.
Dario Wiesinger fired past the goalkeeper at the best of chances, and a header from Tai Baribault went over the crossbar just before the break.
However, Molde remained the better team in the second 90 minutes of the Conference League play-offs. It made it 2-0: Fofana and Magnus Wolff counter-attacked perfectly through the Wolfsburg team’s half. Syvert Manswerk, who served in the backcourt, didn’t have much trouble in the end. The Wolfsbergers complained vehemently that the (correct) goal was counted. After the half-time whistle, a group of referees gathered around Ireland’s Rob Harvey to take on the concentrated fury of the Lavantall team. Security first had to clear the players’ tunnel so the officials could get to the dressing room.
The WAC was not creative enough and did very little offensively. In return, the Norwegians could always be counted on to bring the decision with a third goal. “We were under pressure in stressful situations and made mistakes. Adversaries have found solutions,” says Dutt. Fofana took the decision after an hour in the 40m sprint, after a lone Bonman put the ball in front of him at the last minute. This means the Wolfsburgers are still in contention for a place in the group stage for a while yet.
The result of the mold trainer is “OK”.
After Bonnemann was careless on goal with a quarter of an hour to go, there were no questions about that. The keeper, who was still strong in the first quarter, missed an innocuous shot. Ola Brynhildsen thanked them and made it 4-0 in extra time. “We showed that the best team emerged. The result is OK at this level,” says Molde coach Erling Moe.
President Dietmar Riegler found encouraging words in the dressing room after the defeat. But the club still needs to be active. A central defender should be brought in by the end of the transfer window. That won’t be possible until Sunday in Tyrol. “We have a lot of work to do in the league. It is not an easy situation for us now,” Dutt looks ahead.
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